A company has been selected to ensure Dursey Island residents will have access to a temporary ferry service in the coming days.
In February, Cork County Council announced plans to carry out essential works to the Dursey cable car, which will result in the temporary closure of the service for several months. The cable car, which connects Dursey Island to the mainland in Beara, is the main form of transport for residents and landowners. A solution was required during the closure, particularly as there are farmers who have livestock to look after on the uninhabited island.
Fianna Fáil TD for Cork South West Christopher O’Sullivan said the company should be ready by the middle of next week.
“A service provider has been selected and contracts are expected to be sorted pending some final details and checks from Marine Safety Office. All going smoothly we should be good to go by the middle of next week,” he said.
Mr O’Sullivan said the service will be a lifeline for farmers and residents. “The tender will mean an average of three days service per week, which is not perfect but it’s certainly better than no service at all.
Dursey Island farmer Joseph Sullivan said the whole situation has been very frustrating.
“It is welcome news and realistically it is better than nothing. We would prefer a daily service, but we will have to take what is there now.
"The whole thing was communicated very poorly. It was just landed on us that they were going to be taking away our service and you will be fending for yourself,” he said.
Independent TD for Cork South West Michael Collins Michael Collins criticised the Department of Rural and Community Development for not providing a seven-day ferry service.
“It was expected that a full seven-day ferry service was the least the people of Dursey Island and the Beara Peninsula deserved, not scraps off the rich man’s table.”